PAT ROBERTSON: GIULIANI'S EVANGELICAL FIREBREAK
Yeah, I know: Evangelicals are threatening to go third-party if Rudy Giuliani is the nominee, hoping the threat will derail his candidacy in the primaries.
But I'm guessing that not all the evangelical leaders you've heard of are feeling this way.
I've said this before and I'll say it again: Pat Robertson loves Giuliani. Their friendship goes back years. And right now, David Brody, the campaign reporter for Robertson's CBN (and a frequent Meet the Press guest), has turned his Brody File blog into something more like the Giuliani File.
Look at the Brody File's home page -- as I type this, 13 of the last 16 items are about Rudy. Not all of them are 100% positive, but there's a lot of happy Rudy talk here:
...Video: Giuliani Says 'I Pray to Jesus'
Giuliani tells The Brody File he prays to Jesus and has frequented churches, synagogues and mosques while the mayor of New York. More...
Video: Giuliani Thinks He's the Only Republican Candidate That Can Win California
Giuliani portrays himself to The Brody File as the only GOP candidate who can win California, calling himself the 50-state candidate. More...
Video: Giuliani Says 'I'm Straight with People'
Rudy Giuliani tells The Brody File that his positions on social issues have not dealt his campaign any severe blows. More...
Sometimes the spin seems, to say the least, counterintuitive: An item posted on September 21 is titled "Giuliani 'Fires' Winning Combination at NRA." No mention of the cell phone call, but in a separate item, Brody says,
I think it makes him look pretty good here...you know, you're wife calls and you take it no matter what! Family man Giuliani! Someone quick! Do a poll on married women ages 18-54 and see how that move resonates!
And even an item headlined "Fighting Against Rudy," about those angry evangelicals, gets in a lot of pro-Giuliani spin:
...If this ends up happening, it becomes a HUGE gamble for these groups. Let's face facts. A third party nominee isn't going to win the presidency, so if social conservative leaders get behind a "to be announced" candidate, you very well could have millions of Evangelicals voting for that candidate as a "protest" vote against Giuliani.
That could leave Hillary Clinton with a straight path to the presidency. Is the calculation here that a pro-choice, pro-gay rights GOP leader in Giuliani is worse than Hillary Clinton? It seems like this is about making a statement of purity more than anything else....
And this is pure spin:
Congressman Rudy Giuliani: Pro-Life?
Congressman Pete Sessions, a staunch pro-life Republican from Texas and a Rudy Giuliani supporter tells The Brody File that if Giuliani was a member of Congress today, he'd be considered pro-life. Here's the money quote:
"In a hypothetical comparison of congressional votes, Mayor Giuliani's voting record would mirror the voting record of Fred Thompson, including votes on partial birth abortion, taxpayer funding on abortions, and parental notification laws. Mayor Giuliani respects the values of social conservatism, and his position on these issues would categorize him as a predominately pro-life Member of Congress." ...
This wouldn't be happening if Pat Robertson were one of the fundies angry at Rudy.
Robertson's friendship with Rudy (and, presumably, his sense that he'll be taken care of by a Giuliani White House) may not fully protect Rudy from the wrath of James Dobson et al., but it's definitely going to soften the blow.
UPDATE: After I posted this, the next item posted at the Brody File was "Social Conservative Readers Speak Up For Giuliani." I rest my case.